The Railroad Workers Rank-and-File Committee is holding its fourth public meeting this Sunday, October 30, at 7:00 P.M. Eastern Time, “The unions say they won’t ‘sanction’ a strike. That decision rests with workers, not the bureaucracy!” Register for the event here.
Wednesday’s contract rejection by railroad signalmen is a powerful confirmation that railroaders are determined to reject this contract and fight for what they deserve. This is the third union whose membership has voted down a contract, including both the BMWED and the IAM.
But the union bureaucracy is stepping forward more and more openly as a key obstacle. They are responding to rank-and-file opposition by extending strike deadlines and voting periods themselves until after the midterm elections, deliberately inviting Congressional intervention. They are also trying to ram through contracts through massive irregularities and fraud, such as in the IBEW where many electricians never received ballots.
The same day the BRS vote was announced, BMWED President Tony Cardwell issued a letter trying to scare workers into submission, falsely claiming that a strike would be “illegal.” Cardwell also made clear that the union would do nothing to defend workers who took part in an “unsanctioned” work stoppage, throwing them to the wolves of Congress and the courts.
All those who argued in favor of a strike, he claimed, were “fringe” groups advocating “dangerous ideas.” But it is the position of Cardwell and the union bureaucracy who are “fringe.” Workers have near-unanimously voted time and again to sanction strike action.
It should not be up to the bureaucracy to override or ignore our votes and tell us what to do! The rank and file must take control of this situation ourselves.
Join workers from around the country this Sunday evening to review the situation and discuss a strategy for the way forward. Register for the event here.